Get the Most From Black Friday Deals
It has begun. The holiday season is here and the sales have already started. Each year, there seems to be crazier and more urgent deals demanding our attention, so it’s a good idea to start planning your Black Friday ahead of time. Whether you’re on shopping online or in-store, there are plenty of ways to maximize your savings.
Since most of the big stores have hundreds of deals each year -- and it would be impossible to hit up all of those sales -- we've got a few handy tips to get the most out of your Black Friday shopping.
If you’re going out shopping on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving evening), you should start planning now. Ads for many major retailer sales have already been leaked, including those for Kohl’s, Costsco, Best Buy and JCPenney. Additionally, some retailers, such as Amazon and Costco, have already started their Black Friday sales.
With many stores getting the jump start on Black Friday sales by opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day, it's important to know which places will not be open before you head out Thursday evening. REI, Nordstrom, Costco, Cabela’s and several other major retailers, will close their doors on turkey day. Check out this article for a more comprehensive list of stores officially closed on Thanksgiving.
Another element of planning out your Black Friday shopping is knowing where you're going to find the best deals on the things you actually need. For example, if your list of gifts includes jewelry, home goods, kitchen appliances or clothes, you probably want to check out Kohl’s, Macy’s or JCPenny for some of the best deals. Those looking for computers, TVs or other tech gadgets may want to keep an eye on Costco, Sam’s Club, Best Buy and Sears.
With that said, still keep your eyes peeled for deals in odd places. For example, Kohl’s is going to have a 500GB Sony Playstation 4 Slim Uncharted bundle with an additional $75 in Kohl’s Cash for only $249. Kohl's is not usually the place you'd go to buy a gaming console, but that is a pretty slick deal.
Finally, to make your planning even easier, we've got a few features that can definitely help get you organized. To start, you can find all of the released ad scans on our Black Friday page. If you see a deal you like, simply click on the "Add to List" button and it will save all of your favorite deals in one place. Additionally, check out our Editor’s Pick of Black Friday deals for some of the best deals from various retailers.
There are already things Slickdealers are doing to ensure they get the most for their money. One of the best ways to do this is to combine sales with gift cards purchased on sale. For example, a recent deal through SVMGiftcards on Ebay had a $100 Cabela’s Gift Card for only $85, shipping included.
Helpful forum participants have started threads for combining holiday gift card promotions into one place. From books to food, and everything in between, this thread is king of gift card savings. Plus, if you don't end up using the cards to buy anything, you can always give them away as gifts.
Next, be on the look out for add-on gift cards. For example, if you know you’re traveling for the holidays, look for deals that include free gift cards for purchasing travel arrangements. Utilizing a Trip Advisor deal, you could get a $50 Amazon card just for using their mobile app to book your next stay.
Keeping up with the social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) of places you frequently shop is another good way to find out about exclusive deals, or even earn coupons codes. (And while you're at it, you should probably follow the Slickdeals Twitter handle too.)
Finally, take advantage of credit card deals if you can. Big shopping trips and lots of travel means tons of opportunity to earn rewards points. Additionally, using programs like Visa Checkout can often earn you access to exclusive deals. Lastly, check out your credit card's price protection program to see if it will cover Black Friday price drops so you can shop early and still get the best deals. As always, if you do use credit cards, remember to pay off those gifts as soon as possible to avoid killing your savings by paying high-interest rates.
Black Friday Electronics Expectations
Historically, Black Friday has been all about the electronics. If you've got some tech gadgets on your list, we've got some tips on what you can expect.
This year the big gaming consoles, including the Playstation 4 and Xbox One S should see a $50 price drop. Deals are already popping up for an Xbox One S Minecraft combo pack for $249. You'll see even bigger discounts on older models if you're not looking for the newest console.
The key with gaming console deals, though, is to look for add-ons. While all the retailers will likely offer the same discount, some will sweeten the deal with extra controllers, gift cards or bonus games. Basically, don't settle for just a price reduction if a new console is on your list.
TVs are a big deal on Black Friday. We're already seeing some pretty decent sales listed in the recently released ad-scans for places like Best Buy and Target, with most TVs running an average of $200 to $300 off retail price. However, not all of these deals are quite as good as they seem. Many of the TVs offered during Black Friday are either lesser-known brands (and likely poorer quality) or they're derivative models that may not have every feature that the better models would. They could be fine, especially if you're not picky about the finer details, but it pays to do a little research.
Computers and laptops are also running for anywhere from $150 to $400 off MSRP, with most being around $200 off at places like Best Buy and Target. And while you shouldn't expect to see deals at the Apple store, if you're looking for a Macbook or iMac, $200 off at other retailers would generally represent a good deal.
Connected home technology products are also expected to have good sales. For example, Kohl’s will have the Nest learning Thermostat on sale for $199 (down from $249), while Costco is offering an Arlo HD Security Camera kit for $70 off.
All these different deals from different places just showcase the need to suss out your Black Friday prior to heading out to the stores. Remember to plan, head out early, pace yourself, and stay on top of all the latest deals. While it can be overwhelming, a well laid out route will help you navigate and get the most from Black Friday deals this year.
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